Trouble for Nothing


A recent trade secret litigation feels like “a lot of trouble for nothing” (at least for the defendant!)

CEO Crispin Teufel left Lincare in June 2023 with plans to become the CEO of AdaptHealth.  Lincare was not amused, and filed a federal lawsuit against Teufel on August 14, 2023, alleging breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, and misappropriation of trade secrets under DTSA.

In the days leading up to his resignation, Teufel allegedly used Dropbox and his personal email address to move or copy a large number of Lincare’s trade secrets.

Evidence was also presented that Teufel recommended that Lincare not pursue a major contract with a Medicare Advantage HMO provider, while AdaptHealth landed the contract with the same provider.

AdaptHealth ultimately did not hire Teufel, and Teufel agreed to a permanent injunction on November 29, preventing him from using, distributing, or relying on Lincare’s confidential data or trade secrets in any future endeavors.

AdaptHealth was not a defendant in the lawsuit, and now has to look for a new CEO.

It is also remarkable how quickly this litigation progressed – from filing to settlement in about three months!  If you are a trade secret owner / plaintiff, you need to have your contracts, trade secrets, and other forms of evidence all readily accessible to move quickly once a misappropriation occurs in order to prevent serious damage and loss of your business advantage.


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